A new year in life brings new challenges and a time to reflect on the things you've learned in the past year. I have experienced such a personal development, especially in the last year, and I have also seen others struggling through the same things I did. This may help, it may not. But I certainly know that these are some pieces of advice I certainly could have used.
1. Life is not a spectator's sport
Go out and experience things rather than just sitting in your room. Your friends are going to a party and they invite you? Go! You get the chance to visit another country? Go! Life is too short to miss out on priceless experiences. Make sure there is nothing to regret when you're older.
2. Taking care of yourself is not selfish
We all need to take care of ourselves mentally and physically. Eating well and practicing healthy habits can do wonders for our stressful lives. And yes, you're still fun if you decide to eat healthier than your friends are at lunch or if you need to pass on going to Applebee's because you're having a crap mental health day. Sometimes you need to take care of yourself.
3. Changing yourself for YOU is okay
Feeling not at 100% and want to change that? Great! Go for it!! In this specific case I'm talking about weight. I've found that every time I say to someone that I want to eat healthier and/or lose weight, they instantly come up with reasons for me to doubt myself or my choice. Change (in a safe way) to make yourself happy, no one else.
4. Take a risk
Not sure if you'd look good with red hair but want to dye it anyway? Do it. Go bungee jumping if you're a thrill seeker. Getting out of your comfort zone will open you up as an individual and leave you with fun memories.
5. Ending unhealthy relationships doesn't make you a bad person
Some people are meant to be in our lives and some people aren't. That's okay. If someone makes you feel insignificant, maybe they aren't the best fit for your life or your way forward. It doesn't make you a terrible human being to cut ties with unhelpful people.
6. Be outspoken
You're going to come face-to-face with people who want to put you or your ideas down. Speak up. Don't let anyone walk all over you.
7. Test your limits
See what you can do (and do it safely).
8. It's okay if you're not who your parents thought you'd be
Whether it's from physicality to sexuality or anything in between, you are your own individual. You are not bound to your parents' perceptions or ideas of who you should be, in their eyes.
9. Stay young
In this world, it's easy to become bitter and closed off. Try to enjoy what made you happy when you were younger and remember the joy you felt at the world. Hold onto it as long as you can.
10. Nap when you can
You'll lose sleep over significant others, school, friends, family, etc. Treasure your naps.
11. Find your family
Friends can, are, and will be family. They will be there when no one else is. Find them and hold them tight.